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What to Do When You Don't Like Your Teen's Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Dr. Matthew Clark shares advice for parents struggling with this situation.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — You don't want to be stuck in this situation, but here you are: you don't like your teen's boyfriend or girlfriend. 

It could be for any number of reasons, but if you don't want your relationship with your teen to suffer, Dr. Matthew Clark from the Clark Institute shares some advice you may want to follow:

Avoid criticizing, lecturing, or giving speeches.  Your teen is more apt to ignore any negative input from you, no matter how well-intentioned.  

Opt for an "Ask, Don’t Tell" approach.  If you have red flags about this relationship, ask your teen questions or make observations in a matter that will make your teen think.  This could steer your kid towards questioning if this relationship is best for him/her.  

Ask yourself what redeeming qualities your teen sees in the person.  Ask them to tell you about the person they like.  Open ended questions that are not confrontational.  He/she will appreciate you taking an interest in the relationship.  

Realize they will be an adult soon.  It may be time to accept your teen will become an adult and will need to make their mistakes in order to learn. 

Express Specific Concerns -- Tactfully.  Try not to be too negative or confrontational when expressing why you don't like your teen's boyfriend or girlfriend. 

As long as there is no immediate danger, you may need to zip it a bit.  At the very least, you may encourage them to spend time at your place or in public with you there.  

Information courtesy: Dr. Matthew Clark from The Clark Institute.

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